Substance Abuse plagues every family. No one is exempt. Although it is something that plagues every family, it is not something that we want to talk about. It causes shame, exhaustion, anger, and fear. Addictions leave the same effect, with innocent parties sitting back on edge, waiting to see what happens next. Click here to listen to Substance Abuse & Addictions Counselor Julianna Sliger with her take on Brokenness, Substance Abuse, and Her Journey in General.
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
PTSD/trauma is real. And for those of us who live with it on a daily basis, it can be challenging for some, and debilitating for others. Everyday, we have conversations with people, and those conversations may involve sights, sounds, smells, etc. that trigger some form of trauma that we have experienced in our lifetime. The question that I have for you today is, “What happens when one traumatic event triggers another traumatic event?”
For instance, we are living in a pandemic. This pandemic is trauma-inducing. It brings with it fear, anxiety, uncertainty, unpredictability, isolation, etc. Just going over these elements themselves, it is important to take note that they rank high on the list as contributing factors to PTSD.
In the month of June, we had the death of George Floyd as the deaths of Breanna Taylor and Armaud Arbery were still fresh in our minds. His death led to a series of protests, looting, and upheaval all across the nation, and then all across the world. Some areas even got so bad that the nation guards were brought in, For some people like my mom, this series of events took them straight back to the 1960s when the Civil Rights movement was in full swing. Dr. King had come to Memphis, Tennessee to march peacefully in hopes of helping the sanitation workers get fair pay and treatment.
What he didn’t plan on happening, is that his arrival in Memphis would sadly be the beginning of the end of his life. The national guards would come in to take control. People like my uncle and cousin would be beaten with billy clubs. Looting would take over the city, as well as other places in the United States.
The hardest part about navigating a traumatic event like murder in broad daylight is hoping that you’re not alone. Someone understands and empathizes with your pain. In the sixties, there wasn’t social media. Today, there is. After these deaths, people flocked to social media for expressing their feelings, whether it was outrage, disbelief, shock, or empathy, as others lied in wait to attack them.
The surprise attacks caused these expressers to be retraumatized over and over again. People who you thought felt the same way that you do were showing their true feelings, causing you to feel like a knife was being inserted in your chest. Life became even trickier to navigate. Friendships among races became trickier to navigate. Nothing felt certain. So in a time like this, what do we do in order to navigate this trauma, the trauma of these lives that have been taken.
First of all, we pray, and then pray again, humbling ourselves.
if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Child Development Teacher and Woman of God, Joyce Mosely. What made this interview extra special is the fact that Joyce is my mother. I hope that you guys enjoy listening to Joyce, being herself, and teaching us about her life and how it relates to brokenness.
If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
We all want acceptance. We want to be accepted. Rejection is way too painful. What about when the tables are turned, and we are expected to accept someone or something, and the end result is out of our control. Like death. The pandemic. Our financial stability. Tune in to Episode 67 as we dissect acceptance.
The word “triggered” has become so overly used in this day and age. For those of us who live with trauma/PTSD, triggers are real. And when they occur, gaining solid grounding is what’s needed in order to get past the episode. This poem, entitled, “Triggered” paints a vivid picture of what it’s like.
Sometimes life is just hard. We often find it difficult to understand why God allows certain things to happen. Sometimes he gives us the answer. Other times, he decides that it isn’t going to be revealed on this side of Heaven. We can always rest assured that God is always Good. He always Loves Us. He never changes. He will never forsake us. We can take all of these truths to the bank when everything else fails, and we don’t understand “His Will”.
It is his will.
We know it is.
Though anger swells.
And darkness stills.
It is his will.
When we can’t make sense.
Of the brokenness and loss that engulfs us like a fence.
It is his will.
That is pushing us to grow.
In devotion to him,
And the blessings he’ll bestow.
It is his will.
That we dream, and dream again.
He’s the Alpha and Omega.
The Beginning and The End.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Each one of us have a different path to healing. No two paths are alike. However, our commonality lies in the fact that we are all human, we all struggle, and we all have childhood wounds of some sort that need to be worked out in order for us to heal and grow. Healing is a lifelong journey. Just when you think that you have completed this journey, it can be one random thought or song, or one major trauma or death that causes you to revisit certain areas, and then go in at a deeper level. The poem “The Path to Healing” reflects thoughts on my healing journey. God bless!
Sleep is one of those things that we can’t live without. At one time or another, we’ve all had problems sleeping. But what happens when lack of sleep starts to get the best of you? Read the poem below to find out.
We all love a good night’s sleep. When I picture falling asleep, I think about having just the right amount of flat sheets, a soft comforter, a few pillows surrounding me, just the right temperature in the house, and having sweet dreams. Just thinking about this scene would make all of us stop and long for sleep.
Sleep can be one of the sweetest things in the world, and then on the other side of that coin, it can be that of agony for a person living with PTSD/trauma on a daily basis. There is also no rhyme or reason as to when sleep deprivation will occur.
Breakdown of My Sleep Aspect of Trauma
Five years ago, unbeknownst to me, I entered an extremely toxic work environment. At the time, I had already been dealing with sleep issues as a side effect of the trauma of my divorce, as well as the events immediately preceding and following the divorce. I would describe the events as a crazy Lifetime movie. Unfortunately, this movie was my life. Although I was already having problems staying and falling asleep, nothing could compare to the level of sleep problems that occurred as a by-product of working at this company for nine months.
People living with PTSD/trauma often face two issues when it comes to sleep: falling asleep and staying asleep. I had and have both. During the time that I worked at this company, I would try to fall asleep around 10 pm. From 10:00 pm to 3:00 a.m, I would fall asleep for a few minutes, wake up with my teeth and whole body tense and clenched tight, and the cycle would start all over again.
Breakdown Part Two
I am going to keep it real here. The first couple of times that this happens, you find yourself trying to stay positive and you start telling yourself not to overly think about. “Don’t be concerned about the time.” However, when you have done this 5 or more times within five hours, and realize that you have only had a total of maybe one hour of sleep, and you have to get up pretty soon for work, the positivity can wear off real fast. I had to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work, which if we all do the math, we know that this isn’t enough time for restful adequate sleep.
The toxic job, along with this vicious cycle of sleep caused major life-threatening thyroid problems, along with an overactive adrenal gland.
God granted me grace by allowing me to be let go from this toxic environment. It gave me time to heal and try to breathe again.
Sleep Aspect: What’s Going On Now
I still have issues with my sleep patterns due to trauma. They are not as frequent as they were, but they are still a problem. Last week took me clearly by surprise.
I had been suffering with sinus and allergy issues since August, and last week these issues came to a head. And guess what came with it? Sleep deprivation from trauma. I had two nights with four nights of sleep.
Then, I had one night with five nights of sleep. Just as I thought I was turning the corner, the following night was an all-nighter with only one hour of sleep at best. I nodded off for ten minutes at a time, woke up, and then stayed up for hours, with my body attempting sleep several more times.
I have to get up at 4:00 for work, and so, when this time came, and I was still awake, I reluctantly resigned to calling in and staying home. What I had to do was to give myself grace and compassion. I had to tell myself that I needed a time-out to rest, get in as many liquids as I could to help my sinus issues, and just relax. Finally, I fell asleep at 5:00 a.m. and slept until close to nine.
I would have liked to sleep until one o’clock. However, that didn’t happen. What did happen is that I literally laid down for part of the day, and sat up part of the day and allowed myself to rest physically, emotionally, and spiritually in Jesus. Sometimes we just have to admit that we are having a bad day, week, month, year, and simply REST!!!
Sleep Aspect Conclusion
Sleep deprivation from trauma is real. I won’t downplay it. However, God is also real, and he can meet us right where we are. When we have these hiccups in our schedule, the devil wants to make us think we are right back where we are. WE ARE NOT!!
Unfortunately sleep issues are a part of living with and healing from trauma on a daily basis, but it doesn’t define us. God does! And guess what? When I couldn’t sleep during the night, I had praise music playing in my head as if I had turned on a radio. Even though my feelings were telling me different, God was telling me that he was with me.
God bless and have a wonderful rest of your week!!!
What are some of the things that you do to help yourself when you are dealing with the sleep aspect of trauma?